My wife Susan and I rarely watch TV, but when we do we have an unspoken rule that allows us to enjoy our time together. If she sits down first, we watch what she wants to watch. If I sit down first, we watch what she wants to watch. Simple, and eminently fair according to Susan.
Last night we were watching a show about a wedding cake competition. (She sat down first.) The premise of the show was to determine who among the five bakers was able to create the best cake to be judged by the happy couple who would be serving the cake at their wedding.
To start, I had no idea that a wedding cake can cost well into the thousands of dollars. You heard me right … thousands of dollars. This just turned into a serious competition. As the show progressed, the couple walked from station to station talking to the bakers, expressing their thoughts, wishes and concerns about their cake. Now remember, the winner of this competition was going to walk away with a check for $5,000 and the losers were going home with $15 worth of eggs, milk, butter and flour. Game on!
I am not a professional wedding cake judge. I really don’t know what makes one wedding cake better than another. I would probably base my decision of which baker offered the best financing. What I am capable of judging however is the likability of each contestant, and here’s what I discovered.
What’s The difference?
As far as I could tell all the cakes looked great. One was as pretty as the next. The only significant difference was the interaction between the couple and the people eager to receive a check written in their name.
Now you would have thought that all the contestants would have treated the couple with respect. You would have been wrong. And just as I had expected, the baker who was the least likable was the first to be eliminated. And the person who won the competition was the most likable. No surprise here.
Likability matters. Did you know that the presidential candidate who had the highest likability rating with the American people has won every general election since JFK won in 1960? There are also dozens of studies that found that likable people are more likely to get a job, keep a job and move ahead in that job. They’re happier, healthier and they live longer.
So, if you believe the statistics, getting elected and winning a wedding cake competition is not about political issues or cakes, it’s about being liked. But how do you become likable? Here’s the answer!
How Do You Make People Like You
If you want to be liked by others, you must focus your attention on helping people like themselves first. It’s that simple. If you can help people like themselves, they will like you in return.
Unfortunately, most of the bakers did not understand that winning is not just about creating a beautiful wedding cake. Winning is about creating a beautiful environment where your customer feels liked, appreciated and confident that you will listen to them and pay attention to their opinions. If not, you’ll be walking home alone with your eggs, milk, butter, flour and an empty check book.
I would love to hear how being likable has impacted your success. Please comment below.